In what is definitely a Bachelorette first, we’ve had to say a sad goodbye to one contestant before the show even airs. Season 10 contestant Eric Hill has passed away after a paragliding accident on Easter Sunday in Utah. Last we heard, Eric was in a medically induced coma after suffering possible head trauma, but his older sister, Karen Tracy, broke the news on her Facebook page, releasing an emotional statement about Eric’s tragic passing.

“Eric shared his final journey with us this morning as all his immediate family were able to be at his side when he passed away,” Karen wrote. “Thank you to all of your love and support and prayers and fasting. It was amazing to be with so many of his friends and family yesterday in the hospital who came to express their love for Eric. He gave us such a gift of a life fully lived and fully shared, and allowed us all to be a part of his last adventure here on earth. It is hard to think of life without his bright spark, but we know he is on to new adventures. We look forward to carrying on his legacy here and greeting him joyfully again someday. I love you so much, little brother.”

We already knew that Eric scored the first one-on-one date with Andi Dorfman and that he doesn’t make it to the Hometown Dates, but we’re not privy to exactly when or how Eric leaves the show.

Given the fact that the contestants haven’t even been officially announced, Eric’s death raises many questions about how ABC will handle the situation, and Reality Steve brings up many of the unanswered questions that fans of the show must be wondering.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Eric’s family and friends. We’ll have to wait and see how ABC deals with this tragedy, as this is new ground for them, as well.

Source: Karen Tracy on Facebook, Reality Steve

Carson Blackwelder is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!